How would you rate episode 1 of
Overlord IV ? Community score: 4.1
How would you rate episode 2 of
Overlord IV ? Community score: 4.1
How would you rate episode 3 of
Overlord IV ? Community score: 4.2
(*Note: The review of the first episode is copy-pasted from when I reviewed it for The Summer 2022 Preview Guide—which also includes an additional review of this episode from another ANN reviewer. The episode 2 and 3 portions of the review are completely new.)
It’s odd—despite having zero action, this episode may be my favorite Overlord episode in a long while. More than anything, this premiere is about character building for Ainz and the people of Nazarick. We get comedic scenes with Albedo, Aura, Mare, and Pandora’s Actor, but beneath it all is a major sense of danger. After all, despite his appearance and three seasons’ worth of practice, Ainz still has no idea what he’s doing. Letting Albedo off the leash to do her own thing unsupervised and telling Pandora’s Actor to “surpass him” sound like things destined to come back and bite him in the ass.
But far beyond just keeping his closest minions under control, Ainz now has to deal with being a king. As of the end of last season, Ainz and his people are fully out in the open. The world knows about their existence and power, meaning they can no longer act exclusively within the safety of the shadows. Adding to that, Ainz now finds himself the ruler of a sizable human population—a population who is largely terrified about their looming fate.
This presents a major problem, made worse by the fact that most of Nazarick’s inhabitants see humans as little more than pests. Meanwhile, Ainz is torn on the issue. On one hand, he is an ex-human from our world. He sees all intelligent life in general—be they goblins, humans, elves, or lizard men—as equals. On the other hand, he personally values the lives of those in Nazarick—created by the friends that were so dear to him back in the MMORPG—far more than anyone in the fantasy world. Somehow, he has to not only find a way to keep the human population safe and happy, but also to do so in a way that the monsters of Nazarick will wholeheartedly support.
While not exactly a setup brimming with potential for massive battles and climatic fights, it’s a great dramatic conflict to build a season upon. We’ll see if it is possible for Ainz to restore normalcy for all his people as he takes his place on the world stage as the leader of a powerful kingdom. Though I’m sure he’ll just end up dumb-lucing into being the greatest king who ever lived.
Episode 1: Rating:
Episodes 2 and 3:
Overlord III ended with the official creation of Ainz’s own country, the Sorcerous Kingdom, and so far, season four has basically been exploring the consequences of this. The second episode is focused on the fallout in the Re-Estize Kingdom. With more than 70,000 men lost in the “battle” and the annexation of E-Rantel, Re-Estize is weaker than it’s been in living memory. The king has basically gone into seclusion, his heir is missing and presumed dead, and the power struggle between the nobles and royals continues unabated. And while this is all going on, Albedo shows up to build peaceful relations between their two countries.
Of course, fostering peace is far from her true motive. Rather, she’s laying the groundwork for not only the next war but what comes after it as well. Among the 70,000+ dead were the heads and heirs to numerous noble families. Young nobles who never expected to inherit their family’s titles suddenly have—and all of them know the price of opposing the Sorcerous Kingdom on a decidedly personal level. So when the chance comes to build a positive relationship with the Sorcerous Kingdom—to join the winning side, so to speak—they jump at the chance. And Albedo is more than happy to use her black-market connections to make sure they survive the looming economic hardships that will further weaken Re-Estize. Basically, Albedo now has a faction of her own within Re-Estize—one set to take over the day-to-day running of the country once it falls to Ainz’s forces.
The third episode, on the other hand, focuses on how Ainz’s “allies” in the Baharuth Empire are dealing with having witnessed Ainz’s power first-hand. All the elite soldiers who will witness the massacre want to retire, and Fluder has obviously already switched sides. This leaves Emperor Jircniv low on skilled defenders at a pivotal moment. Moreover, he has to find some way of building an alliance between all the human nations of the world—his included—if there is any hope of stopping Ainz. While this man effortlessly took his throne while still a child—mercilessly killing all those who opposed him while establishing a meritocracy—the stress of his newfound position has caused him to start losing his hair.
And just as he gets a secret meeting to begin planning toward a greater human alliance, Ainz himself shows up to ruin the whole thing. With that, Jircniv is truly isolated: none of the human counties will trust him. His only hope for survival is Ainz—who he believes could destroy his entire empire on a whim. He’s reached his lowest point yet, and all that’s left is to see how he reacts when there is no hope and nowhere left to run.
All in all, both of these episodes are a showcase of how much a single showing of Ainz’s power has changed the world. Yet, even with the clear and immense threat that he poses, humanity can’t seem to come together. They refuse to trust each other and instead focus on their small squabbles and self-interests. And as the end of the third episode shows, all Ainz has to do to throw any sort of unified resistance into chaos is to simply enter a room. If anything, this arc has made one thing very clear: humanity is screwed.
Episode 2: Rating:
Episode 3: Rating:
• Honestly, the biggest threat to Albedo’s whole plan is Philip. If he touches her one more time she might just lose control and murder him on the spot in front of all the young nobles.
• Can we get more scenes of Albedo and Renner having yandere girls talk? I feel robbed that the episode ends right as they get started.
• WHAT’S IN THE BOX!!!!!???
• I wondered what Albedo was holding in episode 2. I’m glad to see that Ainz hasn’t forgotten that someone out there has mind control capable of taking over even his strongest subordinates, despite it happening several seasons ago.
• While I miss the character, I like how Leinas Rockbruise is not included in Jircniv’s inner circle anymore. She made it clear she would betray him if he kept her alive—and having been to Nazarick, I can’t believe she would take part in a rebellion against Ainz.
• I’m 100% sure that Ainz has no greater reason for appearing in the coliseum. I bet it’s just that with Albedo and Demiurge doing their own things, he was finally able to sneak off to have some fun on his own.
Overlord IV is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.